Handre Pollard in training with the Springboks. Image from X@Springboks

How the Springboks could line up against Tonga, Pollard at 10

The Springboks are set to field a new-look side against Tonga on Sunday. This is how the team could look for their final World Cup pool game.


Handre Pollard in training with the Springboks. Image from X@Springboks

The Springboks will next face Tonga in a must-win World Cup match, and interestingly it’s already been confirmed that Handre Pollard will receive game-time in that clash.

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Although there have been some calls for the Springboks to experiment with Pollard at 12, it’s almost certain that he will reclaim the No 10 jersey from Manie Libbok, who is a due a rest as it is.

It will also be interesting to be see how the coaches opt to mix and match their selections for this encounter considering that it is a do-or-die clash against a tricky opponent, meaning resting too many first-choice players is highly unlikely.

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This is how the Springboks could line up:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 RG Snyman, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Ox Nche

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South Africa won’t be taking Tonga lightly

Tonga have struggled in their opening fixtures, conceding a total of 104 points to Ireland and Scotland, but director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has said they will be very wary of the islanders.

“We know Romania are a tier-two team who don’t have a lot of opportunities and don’t have a lot of full-time professional players,” said Erasmus. “Even though World Rugby is trying to support them and they are on the up, they are still a bit off the pace when it comes to tier-one nations.

“But Tonga have players who have played at the highest level for various countries and there are quite a few names there that scare you. They have individual threats, individual brilliance and are well coached. I know [Tonga head coach] Toutai Kefu really well. I played against him in my playing days and he was good at scrumming and mauling and lineouts.

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“Although we know the Tonga game will be a tough one, as the Scotland game will be for Ireland, that will probably determine who will be number one or two or three in the pool. I thought Scotland was always going to be a slippery game and it might be a tough one for Ireland as well, and so can Tonga be for us.”

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